There’s one moment in every sale that can mean the difference between so-so sales numbers and top performance. Is it:

A. The moment you first get the prospect on the phone?
B. The moment you ask for the sale?
C. The moment after the prospect has said yes?

A is certainly a critical moment. First impressions count, and you have only 10 or 15 seconds to engage a prospect’s interest. But it’s not THE magic moment. After all, you haven’t invested much in the sale yet, so you don’t have that much to lose if you drop the ball.

How about B – asking for the sale? Well, you’ve made a big investment of your time once you reach the close, so that’s an important selling moment, to be sure. But it’s not a make-or-break moment. If you’ve done your homework and presented the buyer with a compelling value proposition, the ask itself is just one step in a larger process. If you miss the moment, you can ask again.

That leaves C – the moment after the prospect has said yes. That’s the best time to increase the value of your sale with an upsell. It’s a fleeting moment when all the stars briefly align in your favor: The customer who’s just said yes wants to do business with you, and at that moment trusts you above all of your competitors. And you have nothing to lose — even if the buyer says no, you still have your original sale.

Timing’s not enough. In that moment, it’s pretty hard to botch an upsell. But it can be done.

The most common reason it goes wrong: lack of planning. With so much at stake, the magic moment is no time to improvise. You have to plan the upsell before you ever close the original sale. Know exactly what kind of upgrade you will propose, and how it’s going to add value to your buyer. So when the time comes, you can move seamlessly from the handshake to the next step.

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